Rocking Horse Winter 3. Keegan looked essentially sound, but somehow, putting his shoe on Friday, then taking him to his 3rd event on Saturday didn't seem like that good an idea, so Hilda was kind enough to lend Godsend to me. Godsend is a lovely OTTB. He's done a couple of CCI** with Hilda and has been a hunter champion with a kid. He is a super jumper, but thinks dressage is a waste of his time and talent (although he is a lovely mover). We did a jumping lesson and a dressage lesson and both went very well. Luckily, my tack fits him well for the jumping part of the program and Hilda loaned me her Stubben for dressage. It is a nice saddle, but is not in the running for my dressage saddle shopping marathon. So far that has involved trying a dozen saddles in tack stalls and shops and test riding 4, with no keeper yet. I've currently got a Barnsby N Gage on trial and will try it next weekend, once Keegan is back in action. So as promised in the title -
Ribbon: We did all three phases on Saturday, finishing on our dressage score of 33 (my best dressage score in a recognized event ever and coming from Bill Woods, even more satisfying). Our SJ round was clear and, according to Brian Ross, who was both judging and announcing, exactly on the optimum time. Cross country was a complete blast and we finished 2 seconds under optimum time, thus ending on the 33, good enough for 6th place.
Rain: There was rain in the forecast, but apparently, we were in Camelot as it ended up only raining at night. The high winds did some damage, including taking apart one of the temporarily stabling roofs at Rocking Horse and knocking over a couple of porta-johns, but we all stayed dry.
Hot: Saturday was hot. They waived coats by 9 in the morning. I didn't wear mine, though many folks did. There was a stiff breeze that made it bearable, but the temperature got up close to 90 degrees.
Cold: The rain was accompanied by a cold front and the temperature plunged over night. Since I only evented on Saturday, I spent Sunday hanging out in control with Cindy. We had a tent with sides to keep the wind out, no rain, and eventually sunshine, but pre-sunshine, I was decked out with hat, gloves, fleece, vest and toe-warmers. A huge change from Saturday. Getting to watch the cross country was great fun. Even better since being in control, we got to hear how the parts we couldn't see were going. I don't think I've ever seen so few clear rounds cross-country. There were a lot of falls (although none resulting in serious injury), vast numbers of refusals, a lot of BN horses that appeared never to have seen water before and some really cute horses. Weekend shout outs to Justine Dutton, who won the intermediate, Madison Llloyd, who had a great intermediate run; Morgan McCue who was first and second in her two Training Rider Divisions, Gabby Ledger who looked great on Super Frank, finishing 4th; Hilda and Sally as Shaquille was impressive (and unimpressed) in his Preliminary debut; Anna Kjellstrom who was there with a string of great looking horses; Leyna Merrill and the ever adorable Mr. Binx, looking very grown up on the xc; Chris Grant, whose lovely youngster won his division on the very impressive dressage score of 26.5; Chris Cox, who won on the wonderful Slim Jim, one that I was lucky enough to ride 2 years ago - great to see him with someone who is enjoying this really super horse. As always, a huge shout out to the organizers, course builders and especially the volunteers for coping with the hot, the cold, and the rain so that we can be out there competing.
Gin & Tonic: No - not the drink, though it would have been a good choice on Saturday. Rather, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld5_HFm_-Yc a lovely young horse that I bought on Friday and that Caitlin Milford will be riding as she completes her stint as a working student with Debi Crowley http://www.cottonmeadowsfarm.com/people.htm. I'm hoping she will have a good time with him - and maybe he'll join me in Florida next winter, but that is getting way too far ahead of myself.